Last week, on Valentine’s Day morning, at around 1:00 a.m. my best friend’s mother died. I had been to see her mother earlier that night to pray and simply be present. I received the call around 1:20 a.m. and by 1:45 a.m. was with my best friend and her father. Her mother now lay at rest in a bed, the struggled breathing I had heard only hours before now gone, her body at peace.
Although the death was not unexpected, she had lived to be almost 90, there had been a rapid decline–only a week earlier she had been alive and in reasonably good physical health. It was a true blessing to be there in that dimly lighted room; to be quiet, reverent…to anoint the body with holy oil, to pray together the Litany at the Time of Death (BCP 462) and to pray for her eternal soul.
Since then there have been dozens of cards and letters, flowers, well-wishers, visitors and phone calls. The outpouring of love upon the family has come from around the globe, some from people who haven’t been in contact for years and years but felt compelled to, “tell you how much you and your mother mean to me.”
There is a blessing that crept into my mind on Monday and hasn’t departed. It is taken from the words of the poet Henri-Frédéric Amiel:
“Remember that life is short and we have too little time to gladden the hearts of those who travel the way with us. So be quick to be kind, make haste to love, and may the blessing of God Almighty: Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you now and always.”
Life is short. And, in the end, I wonder if we will have said to all of those who have been special in our lives, or kind to us, or who have taught us, or even loved us, that they are important to us…that they “mean so much” to us? My guess is that we probably will not have said those things to even a fraction of the number of people who have had an impact on our lives in a positive way. Why is it that we allow that to happen? How much time does it take to write a quick note or letter, or even email, to someone to tell them that you are thinking about them and that they are special to you in some way?
“Life is short and we have too little time,” my brothers and sisters. Take a moment and tell someone that is special to you that they ARE. In doing so you are spreading this wonderful blessing and touching the life of another.
In Blessing and Peace,